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MUMSA History

  • Compiled
  • Muhsin Kayondo
  • Chairman 2019-2020

Makerere University Muslim Students’ Association (MUMSA) is Uganda’s all inclusive umbrella organization in the Muslim students duly registered as a Faith Based Organization in the Makerere University Students’ Guild and Uganda Muslim Supreme council.

MUMSA was started in 1948 as the Makerere Muslims League, later changing to Uganda Muslims Solidarity in 1956 and finally in 1972 as MUMSA, to act as a networking platform for Uganda Muslim Students and professionals among other objectives. Currently with 10000 members, MUMSA has made major strides in Daawa, provision of Career Guidance and strengthening professionalism in the Muslim Community.

MUMSA can arguably be said to be as old as Makerere University, which started in 1922 as Makerere College. However, the first traces of the Association go as back as 1948 when the first Muslim students were admitted at the defunct Makerere College. These were mainly Zanzibar with the result that saw the construction of the first mosque by the Sultan of Zanzibar in the same year. The mosque currently serves as the mosque library.

The year 1956 served as the turning point in the efforts to form the Association when the first Muslim African student in the names of ABUBAKAR KAKYAMA MAYANJA (died in 2009, may Allah pardon Him in all that he erred) was admitted to study law at Makerere college
By 1962, at least 10 African Muslim Students had gained admission, and these mobilized themselves into a body called Uganda Muslims Association, which they later changed into Uganda Muslim Students’ Association. Prominent among these are Dr. Kagimu (President IMAU), Hajji Kibirige Muhammad (former President JEEMA).

In 1972, Uganda Muslim Students’ Association completed its metamorphosis into Makerere University Muslim Students’ Association (MUMSA) with Dr. Kagimu as the official Pioneer Chairman who went on to serve 4 Consecutive Terms of office till 1976, the same year Uganda was admitted to the Organization of Islamic Conference at Lahore, Pakistan.
The year 1979 is very significant in the History of Uganda and the world at large for a number of events were witnessed, the overthrow of President Idi Amin Dada by UNLA/M, Iranian Revolution. The year is also significant to MUMSA specifically as it is the year the Golden years of achievement took root. It is the year that two important personalities that Allah has given the privilege of shaping the destiny of Muslim Academic and the Islamic community’s welfare upliftment enrolled at the Harvard of Africa(Ivory tower),DR. ABBAS KIYIMBA(Former Deputy Dean ,Faculty of Arts , Makerere University) and DR. AHMED SENGENDO(Rector ,I.U.I.U).

Their contribution to the vibrancy of the Association is enumerable, to mention fronted for the opening up of the Islamic University In Uganda which commenced in 1988,investigated and caused the prosecution of all those that perpetrated the 1979 Nyabushozi Massacre of muslims,pioneered the idea of upcountry Community and School visits (Caravans),advocated for the recognition of Muslim students’ rights through the demand for formation of Muslim Students’ Associations(MSAs) in every school including those in which Christian teachings were deeply entrenched like St.Henry’sCollege Kitovu, St. Mary’s College Kisubi, Kings College Buddo.
Their enviable scope of activism saw the entrance into Uganda in the early 1990s operations of Islamic International Non-Governmental Organizations like the World Assembly of Muslim Youths(WAMY),Direct-Aid African Muslims Agency(AMA),Al-Munazzamat Addawatul-Islamiyyah, RABITWA,World Islamic Call Society(WICS), World Muslims League, International Islamic Charitable Organization to mention but a few that have greatly contributed to the improvement of the livelihood of Ugandans.

In 1993, Dr. ABBAS KIYMBA acting with a committed team of MUMSA leaders oversaw the completion of the construction of the bigger Makerere University mosque in the “forest” , which miraculously and interestingly transformed that into the main gate, TAK BEER !!!!, ALLAH AKBAR!!!
A lot goes without saying about these distinguished parents, academicians and development inspirers of our time, and indeed a number of personalities have been made out of their guidance and direction, these include among others Imam Iddi Kasozi,and the famous Uganda Muslim Youth Assembly, Hajji Hussein Kyanjo(M.P Makindye West), Hajji Ibrahim Matovu(Headmaster Kibuli S.S,and founding Chairman UMTA),Hajji Kaliisa (former Executive Director Voice of Africa Radio, now proprietor Pearl FM) who spearheaded the revival of the MUSLIM STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION(MSAU) , Hamid Byamugenzi ,Abdulhamid Mpoza ,Nkunyinji Muwada Haruna, for forming the famous EAST AFRICAN MUSLIM FEDERATION, who have also greatly influenced the status of Islam in the varied fields .

The Contribution of these two spans over the last 32 years although from their full commitment and activity in the Association some what has been relatively declining from the year 1997 due to extra-gratuitous personal and socio-economic ramifications.
No wonder, from the year 2000, the vibrancy and level of activism of MUMSA in the country has taken a rather down treading trend for each successive year that comes to pass. Question is who is to blame, what could be the problem? Can all of us join ideas to give answers?!!

No need to look farther than your conscience informs you ,MUMSA’s current sorry state currently can best be explained by reasons, some that are beyond any individual’s control like stifling of sources of funding for its programs due to the Global indiscriminate outright war on terror due to the 9/11 U.S terror attacks, well calculated perpetration of factionalism in the Muslim UMMAH ,well calculated Islam phobic Policies of its adversaries and many others that every one can precisely predict and enumerate.

The reasons that are within everyone’s province are; shortfall in level of commitment to the Islamic teachings due to a number of concentration to a number of competing and equally distracting needs like the strive to maintain good welfare of our people, demanding employment, fanciful amusements and leisure like politics, football, movies and ‘soaps’ on T.V, neglect of the principle of continuity and longevity of activism by the Senior Members, who ever comes and does anything for the Association, even if small, goes with it but doesn’t follow up on its continuity, ill-conceived existence of ranks, class stratification and personality prejudices with the result that any wrong there is observed, the CHAIRMAN MUMSA or the MUMSA EXECUTIVE should be there to avert it albeit logistical and moral undertones, permissive attitude of the parents and leaders driven the misconception that today’s era kids(children) know a lot yet actually little of too much, which has caused tem give their parental and guidance roles to the mothers, fathers and leaders of tomorrow, commercialization of the Islamic theological Education system with the result that Graduates being churned out of these institutions are material-needs driven detached from the Islamic Creed that emphasizes “that the ultimate goal is not finishing a course but rather inspiring, sparking and mentoring the skill in an individual to benefit the society”, the defective secular education system that trains “survival for the fittest” skills with the result that every one strives to attain the best grades to his or her only self satisfaction on achievement as the indigent, destitute, hopeless citizen of mother pearl of Africa, and unpredictable craddleland expansive Global village sits across lamenting on what he or she could have wronged “the maker” to deserve second class citizenry .

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Words from Past MUMSA Leaders


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